There are a plenty of options for school ERP software in the market. It can be tricky to pick one when a simple Google search will throw up more than 100 options you can choose from. Even more confusing is the cost of each software with some of them even available for free! You may have questions on why there is so much of price difference despite ERP software offering almost the same modules? Is the cost of the software justified and how much should a school budget for a school management system ERP ?
We have put together this blog to answer these questions and more.
How does School ERP software payback?
Taking your school systems digital definitely involves time, money and efforts. However, not setting up school management software will cost you even more in every possible way. Here is how school management system will save a lot of costs for you:
1. Save in Paperwork
Taking school systems online will mean saving on a lot of paperwork. Operations such as form filling, record keeping, report card generation will all be digital. That means no more dollars spent on print outs, files, and shelf space.
2. Save Man-hours
School software can take over repetitive manual work and free your staff for more productive activities. Activities like reminders to library defaulters, data analytics for results of a batch and push communication can be done at the click of the button. This will save you huge cost in over-time payments and HR costs.
3. Save in Co-ordination time
A common platform for teachers, students, staff and parents saves a lot of time in communication and event management activities. Everyone can check into the same platform to stay up to date on meetings, class activities, assignments etc.
4. Better Education for students
School management system not only frees up staff from non-core activities but also help teachers in their primary job. Most importantly a school management system helps a school in achieving what it is set out to do- better education.
ERP software for schools also has learning modules for students. This will help students to learn visually at their own pace and understand the concept deeply. Online assessments and quiz keep the learning interactive and fun.
Data analytics on students allow teachers to plan classes and understand learning curve of each student personally. The way we learn and teach is changing and every school must take advantage of technology to transform the way we teach at school.
How much does a School Management Software ERP Cost?
There are various pricing methods in which a vendor can charge school:
Per student fee – Some software providers charge a flat monthly fee per student. This could range from $ 0.5/ per month to $22/per month for each student. It could even be a single annual fee for each student. The difference in price could be due to the basic and add on modules offered and many other factors that we will list at the end of this blog.
Onetime fee – There is also an option of paying for the software in a single go. This is a good option if your school has reserves as it will give you a heavy discount and avoid the headache of renewing monthly or yearly. This could range anywhere from $1,500 to $6000 depending on the functions you want. The average onetime fee paid for a school management system is $4000.
Monthly/Yearly Flat Fee – Some vendors charge a monthly or annual flat fee irrespective of number of students you have. Monthly flat payment could range from $50 to $150 and annual payment fee could range from $900 to $2000. A combination of monthly flat fee plus per student fee is also possible.
Building your own platform – All the options mentioned above are for SaaS (Software as a Solution) option. This means that the software company builds generic software that can be used by many schools and sells it as a standard product with no or very little customizable features. There is also an option for building your own software but it is not at all advisable. Building software from scratch is a very technical process and is best left to IT companies. Some big universities which require customized software may go for this option. The cost of doing this can run into hundreds of thousands or in millions.
You may have noticed above that the cost of school management software ERP varies greatly. Do not be confused. The price difference could be due to any of the following features. You must consider the below points before you choose a school management system:
Technical Support – Do check the level of post-sales support that the vendor is providing. Is it online, on –call or on-site training? The more the post-sales service the more will be the quote.
Cloud Service – Do the software provider give cloud service or do you need to purchase your own server space? Software without cloud service will cost more
Capping on number of Student and Staff Log-ins – Is there any capping on the number of students that you can add? The software must be scalable as per your projected growth. Many companies have basic versions with limited students allowed and a pro version with unlimited student.
User friendly – ERP systems with simple user interface will be easy for your staff and require no training. Sometimes staff training fee is included in the quote where it is required.
Modules – Always compare the modules included in the quote. Some vendors may give cheaper option for basic modules and charge higher for add on modules. Some of the basic modules are admissions, billing, assessment, finance, learning, scheduling, parent connect, examination, teacher login, student/parent login, courses and batches and report centre.
Add on modules can be library, data management, transport, inventory, API access, custom report and online exam.